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Vuwa Kaunda blocks Lazarus Chakwera at funeral

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Presidential Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, on Saturday removed Malawi Congress Party president, Lazarus Chakwera, from the list of speakers at a funeral ceremony of Traditional Authority (T/A) Malengamzoma in Nkhata Bay District.

Chakwera was scheduled to speak but Kaunda demanded the list from the family, removed Chakwera’s name and put himself on the list of speakers.

This irked Reverend Levi Nyondo, General Secretary of Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, who openly rebuked Kaunda and asked him to desist from such conduct in future.

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Chakwera was supposed to speak after Nkhata Bay District Chairperson, who was supposed to be followed by the District Commissioner and, then, followed by Director of Chiefs in the Ministry of Local Government, Charles Thombozi.

“We, as a synod, want to condemn this programme and especially you, Vuwa. Why have you made amendments to the programme without consulting us? Why is it that some people have spoken and others have not? This is CCAP Synod of Livingstonia’s funeral service and not a political rally,” Nyondo said.

“Any programme of the synod’s funeral is made by the bereaved families in consultation with the government and the church. Next time, never dare to make the same mistake,” Nyondo said, attracting ululations and applause from the gathering.

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Kaunda admitted his mistake and apologised in a separate interview with The Daily Times.

Thombozi said chiefs play a key role in complementing government’s efforts in implementing development projects.

He then said T/A Malengamzoma was committed to ensuring that the area developed.

After the ceremony, people who attended the funeral blocked Chakwera’s motorcade and demanded that they be addressed.

Chakwera alighted from his vehicle and stood in a pick-up vehicle to engage the multitude. He said Malengamzoma’s chieftaincy is known in the history of Malawi because it was the one that welcomed missionaries who brought education to the area and shaped famous politicians such as the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda and the late Aleke Banda who benefited from Bandawe Secondary School.

Malengamzoma, whose real name was Nice Manda, died on Tuesday at the age of 92. She was the only female chief in the Northern Region.

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